The German Karl Heinrich Emil Koch was born 6 June 1809, near Weimar in the Duchy of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenbach, and died 25 May 1879. He studied medicine and natural sciences in Jena and in Wurzburg. According to a memoir written by Koch's wife, Therese Koch (T. Danzer, pers. comm.), Karl Koch was befriended by the writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as a young boy, and Goethe encouraged his plant studies. Koch had broad interests including zoology, geology and geography, anthropology, archeology and history but his main interest was with botany, especially horticulture, dendrology and the origin of fruit trees (Edmundson & Lack, 1977).